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Plan Your Windows XP Repair Installation

Windows XP Repair Install - Step 1 of 19


Repairing a Windows XP installation is valuable when you need to keep your programs and data in tact
but need to restore the Windows XP system files to their original state. This is often an easy fix for
complicated Windows XP issues. This guide is broken into two parts for a total of 19 steps and will
walk you through every part of the repair installation.

Even though a repair installation does not alter any programs or data, other than Windows XP itself,
on your hard drive, I highly advise that you take precautions in the rare event that something will go
wrong and you lose data. That means that if there's anything you want to keep you should back it up
to a CD or another drive prior to beginning this process.

Some things to consider backing up that usually reside on the same drive as Windows XP (which we'll
assume is "C:") include a number of folders located under C:\Documents and Settings\{YOUR NAME}
such as Desktop, Favorites and My Documents. Also check these folders under other user's
accounts if more than one person logs onto your PC.

You should also locate the Windows XP product key, a 25-digit alphanumeric code unique to your copy
of Windows XP. If you can't locate it, there is a fairly easy way to find the Windows XP product key
code from your existing installation, but this should be done before you do the repair installation.

Note: You shouldn't need the product key to do a repair installation but it's good to have it in case
your situation gets progressively worse and you find yourself needing to do a Clean Installation of
Windows XP later.

Note: The steps and screen shots shown in these 19 steps refer specifically to Windows XP
Professional but will also serve perfectly well as a guide to repairing Windows XP Home Edition.

Boot From the Windows XP CD


Windows XP Repair Install - Step 2 of 19
To begin the Windows XP repair process, you will need to boot from the Windows XP CD.

1. Watch for a Press any key to boot from CD... message similar to the one shown in the
screenshot above.

2. Press a key to force the computer to boot from the Windows CD. If you do not press a key,
your PC will attempt to boot to the operating system that's currently installed on your hard drive.
If this happens, simply reboot and try to boot to the Windows XP CD again
3. Press F6 to Install a Third Party Driver

4.

5. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 3 of 19

6. The Windows Setup screen will appear and a number of files and drivers necessary for the setup proces

7. Toward the beginning of this process, a message will appear that says Press F6 if you need to install a t
long as you are doing a repair installation from a Windows XP SP2 CD, this step is probably not necessary. On t
an older version of the Windows XP installation CD and you have an SATA hard drive, you will need to press F6
The instructions that came with your hard drive or computer should include this information.
8. For most users though, this step can be ignored.

9. Press ENTER to Set Up Windows XP

10.

11. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 4 of 19

12. After the necessary files and drivers are loaded, the Windows XP Professional Setup screen will appear.

13. Press Enter to setup Windows XP now.

14. Note: Even though the second option is to repair a Windows XP installation, the Recovery Console is no
truly perform a complete repair installation a few steps from now.

15. Read and Accept the Windows XP Licensing Agreement

16.

17. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 5 of 19


18. The next screen that appears is the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen. Read through the agreem
agree with the terms.

19. Tip: Press the Page Down key to advance through the licensing agreement faster. This is not to sugge
agreement though! You should always read "small print" especially when it comes to operating systems and oth

20. Select the Windows XP Installation to Repair

21.

22. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 6 of 19

23. On the next screen, Windows XP Setup needs to know which Windows installation you want to either re

24. The single installation of Windows on your PC should already be highlighted. If you have multiple instal
keyboard to select the installation that you are wanting to reinstall.

25. Since we want to repair the selected Windows XP installation, press the R key to continue

26. Wait for the Current Windows XP Files to Delete

27.
28. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 7 of 19

29. Windows XP Setup will now delete the necessary system files from the Windows XP installation that is c
usually only takes a few seconds and no user intervention is necessary.

30. Note: No data files like word processor files, spreadsheet files, music files, photos, etc. should be delet
files that Windows XP is able to restore are being deleted.

31. Wait for the Windows XP Installation Files to Copy

32.

33. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 8 of 19

34. Windows XP Setup will now copy the necessary installation files from the Windows XP installation CD to
takes a few minutes and no user intervention is necessary.

35. Windows XP Repair Installation Begins


36.

37. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 9 of 19

38. Windows XP will now begin installing. No user intervention is necessary.

39. Note: The Setup will complete in approximately: time estimation on the left is based on the number of
process has left to complete, not on a true estimation of the time it will take to complete them. Usually the tim
will probably be setup sooner than this.

40. Choose Regional and Language Options

41.

42. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 10 of 19

43. During installation, the Regional and Language Options window will appear.
44. The first section allows you to change the default Windows XP language and the default location. If the
no changes are necessary. If you wish to make changes, click on the Customize... button and follow the direct
change locations.

45. The second section allows you to change the default Windows XP input language and device. If the opti
changes are necessary. If you wish to make changes, click on the Details... button and follow the directions gi
change input methods.

46. After you've made any changes, or if you've determined no changes are necessary, click Next >.

47. Please proceed to How to Perform a Repair Installation of Windows XP - Part 2 of 2 to continue.

48. Enter a Workgroup or Domain Name

49.
50. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 11 of 19

51. This is the beginning of Part 2 of 2. If you need to, you can go back to the previous step
located at the end of Part 1.

52. The Workgroup or Computer Domain window will appear next with two options for you to
choose from - No, this computer is not on a network, or is on a network without a domain... or
Yes, make this computer a member of the following domain:.

53. If you're installing Windows XP on a single computer or a computer on a home network,


chances are the correct option to choose is No, this computer is not on a network, or is
on a network without a domain.... If you're on a network, enter the workgroup name of
that network here. Otherwise, feel free to leave the default workgroup name and continue.

54. If you're installing Windows XP in a corporate environment, you may need to choose the Yes,
make this computer a member of the following domain: option and enter a domain
name but check with your system administrator first.
55. If you're not sure, choose No, this computer is not on a network, or is on a network
without a domain....

56. Wait for the Windows XP Repair Installation to Finalize

57.
58. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 12 of 19
59. The Windows XP repair installation will now finalize. No user intervention is necessary

60. Wait for Restart and Windows XP Boot

61.
62. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 13 of 19
63. Your PC will automatically restart and proceed to load the repaired installation of Windows XP.

64. Begin Final Set Up of Windows XP


65.
66. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 14 of 19

67. The Welcome to Microsoft Windows screen appears next, informing you that the next few
minutes will be spent setting up your computer.

68. Optionally Register Windows XP with Microsoft

69.
70. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 15 of 19

71. Registration with Microsoft is optional, but if you'd like to do that now, choose Yes, I'd like to
register with Microsoft now, click Next -> and follow the instructions to register.

72. Otherwise, choose No, not at this time and click Next ->.

73. Note: If you registered with your previous Windows XP installation that you are now repairing,
you may not see this screen. If this is the case, just proceed to the next step.
74. Create Initial User Accounts

75.
76. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 16 of 19
77. In this step, setup wants to know the names of the users who will use Windows XP so it can
setup individual accounts for each user. You must enter at least one name but can enter up to
5 here. More users can be entered from within Windows XP after the repair installation is
complete.

78. After entering the account name(s), click Next -> to continue.

79. Finish Final Setup of Windows XP

80.
81. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 17 of 19
82. We're almost there! All of the necessary files are installed and all of the necessary settings are
configured.
83. Click Finish -> to proceed to Windows XP.

84. Wait for Windows XP to Start

85.
86. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 18 of 19
87. Windows XP is now loading. This may take a minute or two depending on your computer's
speed.

88. Windows XP Reinstallation is Complete!

89.
90. Windows XP Repair Install - Step 19 of 19
91. This completes the final step of reinstalling Windows XP! Congratulations!

92. The first step after reinstalling Windows XP is to proceed to Windows Update to install all of
the latest updates and fixes from Microsoft. The repair installation restored the original system
files so any updates that you installed prior to this repair installation - including all service
packs and other patches - are no longer installed.
93. Important: This is a necessary step to ensure that your repaired installation of Windows XP is
secure and up to date.
How: to Repair window xp boot.ini file

1. Enter Windows XP Recovery Console. The Recovery Console is an advanced diagnostic mode of
Windows XP with special tools that will allow you to restore the boot.ini file.

2. When you reach the command line (detailed in Step 6 in the link above), type the following
command and then press Enter.

bootcfg /rebuild

3. The bootcfg utility will scan your hard drives for any Windows XP installations and then display
the results. Follow the remaining steps to add your Windows XP installation to the boot.ini file.

4. The first prompt asks Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All).

Type Y in response to this question and press Enter.

5. The next prompt asks you to Enter Load Identifier:.

This is the name of the operating system. For example, type Windows XP Professional or
Windows XP Home Edition and press Enter.

6. The final prompt asks you to Enter OS Load options:.

Type /Fastdetect here and press Enter.

7. Take out the Windows XP CD, type exit and then press Enter to restart your PC.

Assuming that a missing or corrupt boot.ini file was your only issue, Windows XP should now
start normally.

Make Necessary Changes in Windows XP Recovery Console


Windows XP Recovery Console - Step 6 of 6
The Recovery Console is now fully loaded and the cursor should be sitting at the prompt, ready for a
command, as shown in the screen shot above.

Make any changes necessary in the Windows XP Recovery Console. When complete, take out the
Windows XP CD and type exit to restart the computer.

Note: A limited number of commands are available for use from within Recovery Console. See the
complete list of Recovery Console commands for more information.

Allow Windows XP to Begin the Setup Process

Windows XP Recovery Console - Step 2 of 6


No user intervention is required in this step. Windows XP is loading a number of files in preparation for
either a reinstallation of Windows XP or for use of the Recovery Console.

Note: Do not press a function key if asked to do so during this process. Those options are only
necessary when installing Windows XP or reinstalling Windows XP and only then in certain
circumstances.

Press R to Enter Recovery Console


Windows XP Recovery Console - Step 3 of 6
When the Windows XP Professional/Home Setup screen appears, press R to enter Recovery Console.

Choose the Windows Installation

Windows XP Recovery Console - Step 4 of 6


The Recovery Console is now loading but needs to know which Windows installation to access. Most
users only have a single Windows XP installation so the choice is usually clear.

To the Which Windows installation would you like to log onto question, press 1 and then Enter.

Enter the Administrator Password

Windows XP Recovery Console - Step 5 of 6


The Recovery Console now needs to know the administrator password for this Windows XP installation.
Unless you are using a PC in a sizable business network, the administrator password is most likely the
same password you use to access Windows XP on a daily basis.

Still not sure what the administrator password is? Offline NT Password & Registry Editor, a free
program typically used to reset lost Windows passwords, also has the ability to transform standard
user accounts into administrator accounts, all without needing access to a working Windows
installation!

To the Type the Administrator password request, enter the password and press Enter.

Note: If you do not have a password or Windows XP normally starts without asking for one, simply
press Enter.

Make Necessary Changes in Windows XP Recovery Console

Windows XP Recovery Console - Step 6 of 6


thought there might be a problem with an important Windows operating system file on my computer
so I ran the sfc command from Command Prompt. Sure enough, it fixed several DLL files and my
computer was back up and running after a reboot."

The Recovery Console is now fully loaded and the cursor should be sitting at the prompt, ready for a
command, as shown in the screen shot above.

Make any changes necessary in the Windows XP Recovery Console. When complete, take out the
Windows XP CD and type exit to restart the computer.

Note: A limited number of commands are available for use from within Recovery Console. See the
complete list of Recovery Console commands for more information.

The Recovery Console can be an indispensable diagnostic tool when your Windows XP, 2000, or Server
2003 based computer suffers from certain major problems.

A number of commands are available within Recovery Console, some of them exclusive to the tool.
When used, these commands can do things as simple as copying a file from one place to another or as
complicated as repairing the master boot record after a major virus attack.

See below for a complete list of Recovery Console commands:

Attrib
The attrib command is used to change the attributes of a single file or a directory.

Batch
The batch command can be used to run a series of other Recovery Console commands located in a
text file that you specify.

Bootcfg
The bootcfg command is used to build or modify the boot.ini file, a hidden file that is used to identify
in what folder, on which partition, and on which hard drive Windows is located.

Chdir
The chdir command is used to display the drive letter and folder that you are currently in. Chdir can
also be used to change the drive and/or directory that you want to work in.

Chkdsk
The chkdsk command, often referred to as "check disk", is used to identify, and often times correct,
certain hard drive errors.

Cls
The cls command clears the screen of all previously entered commands and other text.

Copy
The copy command does simply that - it copies a single file from one location to another.

Delete
The delete command is used to delete a single file.

Dir
The dir command is used to display a list of files and folders contained inside the folder that you are
currently working in. The dir command also displays other important information like the hard drive's
serial number, the total number of files listed, their combined size, the total amount of free space left
on the drive, and more.

Disable
The disable command is used to disable a system service or a device driver.

Diskpart
The diskpart command is used to create or delete partitions on hard drives.

Enable
The enable command is used to enable a system service or a device driver.

Exit
The exit command ends the Recovery Console session and then restarts the computer.

Expand
The expand command is used to extract a single file or a group of files from a compressed file.

Fixboot
The fixboot command writes a new partition boot sector to the system partition that you specify.

Fixmbr
The fixmbr command writes a new master boot record to the hard disk drive that you specify.

Format
The format command is used to format a drive in the file system that you specify.

Help
The help command provides more detailed information on any of the other Recovery Console
commands.

Listsvc
The listsvc command will list the services and drivers available in your Windows installation.
Logon
The logon command is used to gain access to the Windows installation that you specify.

Map
The map command is used to display the partition and hard drive that each drive letter on the
computer is currently assigned to.

Mkdir
The mkdir command is used to create a new folder.

More
The more command is used to display the information contained in a text file. The more command
performs the same function as the type command.

Net use
The net use command is not available in Recovery Console, even though it is listed in the "Help"
system as an available command. In other areas of Windows, the net use command is used to assign
a drive letter to a shared network resource.

Rename
The rename command is used to change the name of the individual file that you specify.

Rmdir
The rmdir command is used to delete an existing and completely empty folder.

Set
The set command is used to enable or disable certain options in Recovery Console.

Systemroot
The systemroot command is used to set the %systemroot% environment variable as the current
folder you are working in.

Type
The type command is used to display the information contained in a text file. The type